Rolling out 1700 iPhones in one day with LNT Group

Rolling out 1700 iPhones in one day with LNT Group

When they decided to roll out 1700 company iPhones in a single day, all with their company app pre-installed, LNT Group knew they would need a formidable Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution. We set them up with the ideal solution for their deployment, and helped them get the best price for their ever- growing number of licences… 


Making staff feel like ‘part of the family’

Comprised of five different companies and delivering everything from care homes to race cars, LNT Group have grown from a family company to a firm of almost 2000 employees. “We decided to roll out smartphones now because as our company grows across the UK, we’re finding it harder to make people feel like part of the core business, part of the family here at LNT,” explained Leigh Ellis, LNT Group’s communications and marketing developer. “One of the ways we thought we could do that was to give everyone in the company a mobile device, so that they could be involved in the company remotely.”

Leigh and his team chose iPhones because existing users in the company had fed back that “iPhone was really easy to use, people just seemed to be able to pick them up and use them straight away, without the need for much training.” There was also the feeling that a smartphone would “feel like a present” more than a standard device, and give employees the inclusive morale boost that LNT thought was needed.

Developing an in-house app

As well as handing out iPhones, the company decided to build their own in-house app, iLNT. “Although we could probably have found a solution of apps that worked together to create what we needed, we thought that if we created one app that had it all in one place, it’d be much easier for staff to use,” explained Leigh. “Some of the things that people can use our app to do include receiving the latest news and updates from the group, so that they know what’s going on here at head office and feel like part of the family. We also wanted them to be able to communicate with us, and again that’s another feature of the app. They can send us suggestions, they can send messages direct to the chairman as well.”

As well as keeping staff up to date with the latest company news and allowing them to send key messages to individuals or sectors within the group, iLNT allows staff to clock in and out, book holidays and perform other HR tasks – all of which helps to encourage staff to use their phones every day and therefore give LNT Group the best return on their investment.

Deploying 1700 devices

The LNT Group’s chairmen felt that making an event of the iPhone launch and giving everyone in the organisation their device on the same day was key to creating a buzz about the scheme and making sure staff were excited by it. However, it meant that LNT Group’s eight-strong IT team would have to roll out 1700 devices at once, register them to the company, install iLNT on each and handle any teething problems – all in a single day.

Leigh immediately began comparing MDM solutions to find one that would ensure the rollout went smoothly. “I compared about 20 different companies in the market. I managed to narrow it down to about five that had all the features that we’d need, and the one that came out on top from an ease of use point of view, as well as many other things, was Absolute Manage. It really seemed to do everything we needed, and not only that but it did everything we’d have liked it to do as well, and it did it in an easy to use package.”

For the initial rollout, the key thing about Absolute was that everything could be automated. The iPhones would be enrolled on the group’s system automatically, and LNT could create their own app store to push out iLNT updates to employees who didn’t have iTunes accounts. “Originally we thought there might be some problems with it taking too long on each individual enrolment,” explained Leigh, “but we went to Absolute support about this and they were very forthcoming in giving us a solution where we could speed it all up and automate the process.”

Since the rollout, Absolute Manage MDM has continued to shine. “We can track all the devices, we can make sure that they’re all safe, and we can make sure that everything that goes out to the phones is secure and restricted,” said Leigh. “And in fact, if anyone’s not using their phone we can see that [using Absolute Manage MDM’s use tracking tools] and go to them and say, ‘what do we need to do to get you using your phone?’ It might just be a case of training, or it might be the case that they need something else on the phone so they can use it better.”

Supporting and maintaining the deployment

“The great thing about Absolute MDM was that we really didn’t need any training – the software just worked exactly how we expected it to and everything was where we needed it to be,” said Leigh. “We have a team of eight IT support staff here, and it’s been so easy that we haven’t even needed all of those to run the support for the phones. It’s down to one person to do it, and they’re managing that very easily. On the couple of occasions when we have needed support, [Absolute’s team] have been very quick.”

The response from staff

“The staff response to the iPhones has been excellent – better than expected, actually,” said Leigh. “When we rolled out this many phones we thought we might get quite a few teething problems, but actually staff have taken to the phones really well, they’re all using them every day, and we can see that from the tracking reports.”

“When I first found out about the iPhone scheme I was quite sceptical to be honest, I didn’t think it would work,” said Matthew Crumpton, LNT Group’s resident videographer, who uses the iLNT app to push out training videos to staff phones. “But now that I’ve seen it happen, it’s really impressive. I thought all the stuff about the new app and the things it can do was quite groundbreaking. It’s kept me in touch with all my work colleagues as I was up and down the country travelling with Ginetta and Ideal Care Homes, and it’s allowed me to do HR tasks – booking holidays, clocking in and clocking out when I’m in different places, it’s revolutionised the way I do my job.

“We can send out messages as often as we want to particular parts of the company, so if you only want to send out a message to construction or people in Ideal Care Homes or people in a particular care home, say in Newark, we can send out a message, and it keeps it feeling like a family business. And as the company’s grown and got bigger and expanded its staff, that we can still keep in touch like that is fantastic.”

Most of the staff have found it easy to get to grips with their phones, and any support issues are usually resolved quickly. “Leigh does receive quite a few calls every day, but they’re usually quick fixes and it’s usually just people who aren’t familiar with using the phones,” says Matthew. “Some of them were quite sceptical about using iPhones at first, but I think as their confidence in the phones grows and they see other staff members benefitting from them, they do start to use them a lot more.”

Constantly expanding the scheme

“With every member of staff here at LNT receiving a new phone, and new care homes opening every month, we’re constantly rolling out new phones to staff, and every time we do we’re constantly learning a bit more about how to roll out and get the best out of these phones,” said Leigh, who also makes sure that the iLNT app is regularly updated with new features. “For anyone looking to roll out mobile devices at the minute, I really would suggest Absolute as the main product to use. It’s really taken away a lot of time from our workload, and because it’s invisible to the end user, they don’t even need to know how to use it, it just works.”

“I think the success of the scheme here at LNT proves that it can be such a success at any company,” agreed Matthew. “We were new to it when we started, we threw ourselves in at the deep end and we didn’t really know what we were getting ourselves into, but it’s proved an amazing success and I’d definitely recommend it to other companies.”

For more about mobile device management and Absolute Manage, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Ensuring your students make the cut with pro editing software

Ensuring your students make the cut with pro editing software

If you want your students to make a splash in the creative industries, you need to get them using professional standard software as soon as possible – it’s all about embedding those key creative skills early on!  Unless you have someone on staff who’s familiar with one video package over the others and so can teach more confidently and comprehensively on that system, it can be difficult to work out which of the big three editors (Apple Final Cut Pro X, Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro) is best for you.

Luckily, our Media & Entertainment team can help. We’ve supplied solutions to schools, colleges, universities and the creative industries over the years, so whether you just want to prepare students for more rigorous training later on or are set on getting them straight into an industry standard workflow, we can help. As well as advising on software that’ll support your teaching style, we can also talk you through hardware, I/O and storage options that will let you organise, store and share work in a way that means you can always access the files you need, but don’t get bogged down in dealing with complicated technical workflows. For starters, here’s their advice on the most popular editing software…

The all-rounder (perfect for embedding creative skills in the curriculum)

Over the past decade, we’ve seen Apple’s Final Cut Pro take off across all levels of education, and the latest version, FCP X, is no exception – in fact, we reckon its similarity to iMovie means that it’s the ideal editing package for schools that are new to video editing and don’t necessarily have anyone with experience of professional programs on staff. The interface is simple, uncluttered, and features a magnetic timeline that makes it easy to trim and reorder clips without losing track of any of your footage.

This is still a relatively new program, but the features Apple are adding are making it ever-easier to use. New addition Unified Import means your students can import footage from different sources in one, easily manageable window, saving valuable class time.

The professional (perfect for getting your music and media departments working together)

Avid’s Media Composer is the original non-linear editor, and is an established industry staple. Like all Avid solutions, Media Composer can be integrated with Avid’s own qualified hardware, giving you professional standard I/O and media storage (much of which comes with education discounts and regular, hefty price cuts), or hooked up to solutions from third parties like AJA or Blackmagic Design.

Investing in hardware of this quality is quite a commitment, but if the creative skillset is a focus for your school, it’s well worth it, as you’ll get a more reliable system in which files can be moved easily from machine to machine or program to program – if your music department uses Pro Tools, this can be integrated with Media Composer to help both groups develop their sound for picture skills. Having an end-to-end Avid workflow like this also means you’re closely mirroring the workflow students will encounter out in the real world, so you’re giving them a huge head start with potential employers.

The one you already have (perfect for teaching transferable creative skills)

Adobe Premiere Pro is part of Adobe’s Creative Suite range – if your school has Master Collection licences, you already have it. Although video editing and image editing are very different disciplines, students who have used programs like Photoshop and are familiar with how Adobe programs behave will probably find Premiere Pro the easiest editor to get to grips with, and will be able to use skills they’ve developed in other programs to enhance their videos. For example, you can create titles and graphics in Photoshop, then import them to Premiere Pro to include in their video projects.

Capable of handling all different formats and resolutions in one project timeline, Premiere Pro removes the need to waste time transcoding footage or waiting for projects to transfer – you can spend all your lesson time teaching. And as for developing planning skills and documenting evidence for assessment, look no further than Adobe Story, an ITV-approved app that’s available free online and handles all your pre- production tasks, allowing students to plan shoots and write and edit scripts, all where you can see and record it.

Want to find out more about how our editing solutions can help your students? Give us a call on 03332 409 333 or email For all the latest news, updates and reviews, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Video: Autodesk fix it in post with Smoke 2013

Video: Autodesk fix it in post with Smoke 2013

Autodesk know what we like: motorbike chases, things that go boom, and the quiet satisfaction of imagining the characters in whatever we’re editing are real and that we’re actually minor gods. And cleverly, they’ve managed to pack all of these things into their latest promo video for Smoke 2013, the Jeremy Hunt short ‘Fix it in Post’.

Created using Smoke 2013 (plus, y’know, some actors and cameras and other, unimportant stuff), Hunt’s short shows off the effects capabilities of Autodesk’s latest as an editor unwittingly ruins the day of a nice, ordinary guy just trying to go about his business.

For a slightly less flashy demo of Autodesk Smoke 2013, you can watch the demo we did with Autodesk (and get your FAQs answered) here.

Want to know more about Autodesk Smoke 2013? Take a look at our site, call the team on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest news and reviews, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Jigsaw24 at BVE 2013: Ideas on how to back up and archive efficiently

Jigsaw24 at BVE 2013: Ideas on how to back up and archive efficiently

Your project doesn’t stop being an asset just because you’re done with it. Archive properly, and you’ll soon have all kinds of media you can repurpose, reuse and even resell, making sure you get maximum reward for the effort you put in in the first place. (I’d talk more about backup here, but you should all know how important this is by now.)

We can help you keep your insurers happy in the short term and yourselves in pocket in the long run with our custom backup and archive solutions. Here are a couple of combos we love, but remember that we can help you develop a custom setup to suit your workflow if you’re after something more bespoke – just drop by stand F33 at BVE to discuss your options.

PresSTORE and LTO libraries

Archiware’s PresSTORE Backup allows you to back up your Mac, Windows, Linux and Solaris servers to disk or tape (which you can then easily take off site for extra security). The archive will contain everything from project data to permissions and resource forks, and you can write to a mixture of disks and drives in different locations simultaneously, so it’s quick and easy to ensure redundancy.

This can work in concert with the PresSTORE Archive module, which includes a bare bones asset management system, allowing you to generate proxies and add custom metadata, making it easier to organise your archive and speed up retrieval. The key thing about these solutions is their ease of access – PresSTORE is browser-based, so you can access it from anywhere. For further customisation, a command line interface lets you hook in to your existing Final Cut Server or solutions such as CatDV. And all of this is controlled from within a single GUI, so you don’t have to worry about learning multiple systems just to stay on top of your files.

We have a range of LTO solutions available, starting from a single drive, and can work with your team to decide which configuration will work best with your needs, depending on what you’ll be backing up and archiving and how often.

Atempo and Spectra Logic tape libraries

For when nothing less than truly massive archives will do, we recommend going with Atempo and Spectra. Like PresSTORE, Atempo Digital Archive can be customised to work with your existing system. It’s also capable of retrievng full MXF files, or even just selected portions of them. You can use Atempo Digital Archive to set a simple set of parameters, such as file type, last accessed date or project age, and then use those as triggers to move projects off your SAN to nearline storage to cheaper disk, tape or cloud storage.

Where do you put all this data? We’d go with Spectra Logic’s LTO-5 (and new LTO-6) tape libraries. As well as their data integrity, low power consumption, high capacity and low cost per TB of data, their integrated Media Lifecycle Management tools let you monitor ageing or high risk media to ensure that nothing in your archive ever ends up as extremely expensive dust. If you’ve got a large archive, you’ll be pleased to hear Spectra’s libraries are capable of bulk load and unload thanks to their TeraPack system, so you don’t have to load each tape manually – this should also help to keep the overall size of your library down.

If you already have a tape library and want to move to Spectra Logic, you can use their Trade Up scheme to keep the cost of your new archive to a minimum by trading in your old hardware. Once you’re using Spectra Logic products, you can use the same scheme to trade in libraries as you outgrow them, so scaling up has less of an impact on your budget.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email or visit us at stand F33 at BVE. To keep up with all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Updating facilities to win new students at Barnsley College

Updating facilities to win new students at Barnsley College

Sam Wilson, head of the media unit at Barnsley College wanted to update the college’s entry-level cameras but at the same time keep costs to a minimum. He wanted cameras with better quality and resolution that would also give a good impression to prospective students.

We suggested that the Sony HD1000 which, with its shoulder-mount design, has a similar form factor to the professional shoulder mount ENG cameras ‘seen on TV’. Using cameras like this is a sure-fire way to get students more enthusiastic and excited about what they are learning than learning with a handheld camera might get them – an idea which appealed to the college.

In order to add more options to the audio on the cameras, we equipped them with BeachTek XLR units. Improving the sound quality with microphones gave large expansion possibilities to the course from a teaching perspective: they were able to include professional audio roles in the production, involving more students and increasing the depth to the production areas they taught.

Since then, the college have added a number of Sony HVR-Z7 hybrid workflow cameras to their technology resources for the students to study solid-state workflows as well as tape disciplines.

For more information about recording solutions, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email For all our latest education news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.  


Innovative presentation solutions for BAE systems

Innovative presentation solutions for BAE systems

When defence, security and aerospace specialists BAE Systems decided to add a demonstration room to their Advanced Technology Centre (ATC), they asked us to help them develop a versatile presentation solution that would support inventive and inspiring pitches. Our consultants helped them build two low-cost, high-impact video walls, along with standalone screens and a projection system.

Developing a presentation system

While the BAE Systems team knew they needed to improve their presentation setup, they didn’t have a clear idea of what was possible in their space and with their budget. They needed to be able to continue giving traditional, projector-led presentations, but also wanted to offer clients more dynamic, compelling visual demonstrations. After discussing a range of different solutions with the BAE Systems team, our consultants recommended a software-driven video wall, coupled with two standalone screens and a high-end projector. This setup would allow BAE Systems to bolster presentations with super widescreen video content as necessary, but would still be relatively simple to operate.

Building a video wall

We installed two sets of four Samsung HD monitors along two walls of the ATC’s presentation room. Though the screens weren’t designed to work together, we were able to use a combination of multi-head Matrox graphics and Scala’s industry-proven content management system to sync each group of four, so a single continuous, vey wide resolution image could play across all of them without being stretched or distorted.

The system was based around high-end Blue Chip PCs. As well as acting as the central control system for the screens and being the place where new content was uploaded and scheduled, the PCs would also be the place where BAE Systems staff put together content. Our design
team produced some initial animated content to show what the screens were capable of, and designed a handful of templates for new content that the BAE Systems team could use to present their own media. We >then provided the BAE Systems team with training so that they could start work on their own video, animations and virtual models.

Finding the right projection solution

Alongside the video walls, we installed a Christie LX-505 projector. This was ideal for a number of reasons – its high lumen count meant it was bright enough to use in a lit office, and its long-life bulb and relatively low maintenance demands meant it had a very low TCO. We fitted unobtrusive Bose Freespace ceiling speakers into the ceiling so that the presenter (and the soundtrack to any screened content) could be heard in high quality at all times without the room appearing cluttered with hardware.

Christie projectors from Jigsaw24

Enabling touchscreen control

As well as ensuring the projection system would be able to accept content from any visitors’ laptops, we set up an AMX-based touchscreen controller that would let the BAE Systems team control their presentation systems from a single, central interface with a user-friendly GUI. This way, there were fewer devices for the tech team to manage and less for any new users to learn. We also provided training on the Scala software and Blue Chip hardware, and integrated two standalone screens that were left over from BAE Systems’ previous system into the new one, so none of their legacy technology went to waste.

touchscreen control at BAE systems

Responses to the new system

“Because we needed a closed display system, we had very different requirements from a typical digital signage setup,” said Chris French, BAE Systems’ Brand and Creative Media Consultant. “But with support from Jigsaw24 we were able to come up with an ideal solution. Their installation team were very good, especially as they were working around building contractors at the time of the install.”

The presentation room has become popular with employees showing new clients BAE Systems facilities and capabilities, and the system’s usability and flexibility have ensured that it has stayed in regular use. BAE Systems have been so pleased with the response from clients and employees alike that they’re now considering rolling out a similar system at other sites, using the Advanced Technology Centre as a blueprint.

“Jigsaw24’s installation team were very good, especially as they were working around building contractors at the time of the install. Whenever a problem cropped up – as they inevitably do on any install – they were quick to get the right kit in and carry on. The training Anthony gave us was just right for getting us started and getting content created for the system.” – Chris French, Brand & Creative Media Consultant
BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre

For more on our presentation solutions, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Order your assets, line your pockets and beat the clock

Order your assets, line your pockets and beat the clock

Allowing us to share, organise, preview and add metadata to all of our assets from case study shoots to catalogue layouts, asset management makes it far easier for us to know where our work is when. Other asset management programs might suit you better, but here’s a quick guide to two of our design team’s favourites: Extensis Portfolio and axle.

The new kid on the block: axle

Released in 2012, axle allows you to take one of your studio’s Macs and turn it into a ‘media management and collaboration server’. What this means in practical terms is that it looks through any drives connected to the server, whether that’s the hard drive of each iMac in your studio or a rack full of external drives, and indexes all the files on them. It then creates an online portal where you can browse every file, regardless of where it’s stored, and everyone can use this to preview low-res versions of documents, play back proxy videos, edit metadata and more. Even better, you can create different views of this portal, so people only see the files for work that’s relevant to them, and any clients you give a login to can only see files from their project. You can also save searches for quicker access to common groups of files (say, all the images tagged to a specific location, or everything shot with a certain type of lens).

While this may not sound like it’s that far above and beyond anything else out there, the great thing about axle is that it’s accessible from any device, from your iMac to your iPad to a client’s PC, so you can always access resources. And because everything is web-based, your users don’t have to spend time installing apps on their computers, and can log in to the portal from any machine. It’s also an excellent choice if you’re thinking of diversifying into video work, as you can export collections of clips straight to your editor, then view H.264 proxies of the result and flag anything you want to alter in those proxies, without having to have access to the editor yourself (this could work wonders on complex approval processes where you have a lot of non-creative parties to get sign off from).

Once you’re finished with a project, you can even arrange for axle to automatically move it to centralised archive storage – or the cloud, if you prefer to store things online – so everyone can access it if you ever need to reuse it, but it’s not taking up valuable space on any individual artist’s hard drive. The project stays in the central index of files, so if you’re ever working on something similar the team will be able to see that some assets already exist, and hopefully save themselves some time and money by repurposing that work, rather than duplicating it. This is definitely something that’s helped the team at Jigsaw24 hit one or two tight deadlines!

The office staple: Extensis Portfolio

Having had a home in the Jigsaw24 office for over two years now, Extensis Portfolio‘s powerful search has made it one of our designers’ most-used tools. “I like using Bridge for local projects,” explains our senior designer, Paul, “but when it comes to searching our server, Portfolio is faster than Bridge or Finder. It also lets me drag and drop the file I want into any application, rather than just Adobe ones, or share directly to email if I don’t want to edit the file – if one of the sales guys needs a case study, the quickest thing to do is find it in Portfolio and send it straight to him from there.”

Other features that have turned our head include Portfolio’s ability to let you create galleries of files. Our team use this to group different kinds of work so that they can navigate to it more simply – we have a gallery for all the files relating to internal documents, for example. We also like that you can ‘route’ files to a folder that belongs to a specific person on the team; it makes it easier for our design manager to assign projects and share resources. And anything that lets you batch convert files into JPEGs, TIFFs and more and edit their metadata while you’re at it is worth a look in our book.

Want to know more about Extensis Portfolio or axle? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.


Top tips: Are you making the most of Lightroom and Bridge?

Top tips: Are you making the most of Lightroom and Bridge?

So forking out for asset management software doesn’t appeal, or your budget makes it a non-starter for now. The good news is, you probably already have some pretty powerful DAM tools at your disposal. Adobe Bridge is part of any Creative Suite, and Lightroom’s no slouch, either. Our Paul and Simon share their top tips.

First up: Paul on Adobe Bridge

“I’ve been using Bridge since the earliest versions – which were sometimes so slow they were unbearable. But now we’re on Creative Suite 6, and it’s come a long way! It’s now a really friendly, powerful interface where you can batch process files, control your colour settings, resize images, reshuffle your folders and do things like drop Illustrator images into InDesign files.”

What kinds of tasks do you use Adobe Bridge for? 

“Initially I used it for browsing folders, as the preview was much better than in Finder – you get a larger preview, you can view your metadata and you can do things like play video clips and scroll through PDFs. Now I use it instead of Finder, as it’s a quick way to navigate, preview many file types, easily view metadata, label/star images, colour code files and quickly send them into other applications such as Photoshop for processing.”

Which features do you use most?

“I’m a big believer in the labelling and starring of files. It’s a very clear indication of which files I have processed or would like to use. The Preview pane is great for watching video or scrolling through PDFs without opening the actual file. There’s also the Create a Contact Sheet tool – great for selecting files and outputting a contact sheet with very little hassle. Controlling Suite Colour Settings – central setting all the colour settings for my Adobe apps in Bridge – is great for switching between web and print work.”

How does Adobe Bridge make your life easier?

“It gives me a much clearer view of the files on the server. It saves me time because I can do a lot of little jobs in the Bridge environment, rather than jumping between applications. I don’t have to open files so see what’s in them, and I can get colour information and link data for files in Bridge’s Metadata View.”

What’s you favourite feature?

“The main interface is great, and I think it’s probably obvious now that I love the way it previews files.”

What would you like to see added? 

“Bring back InDesign contact sheets! I don’t know why these were pulled, they were brilliant.”

What other programs do you find yourself using Bridge with? 

“All the other Creative Suite applications. It’s great for juggling projects between InDesign, Photoshop and web design programs when I need them. It’s given me a lot more insight into what’s actually on my computer (and our server) and it’s a massive help to have a central hub for viewing, accessing, adding to or gaining information from files.”

What’s your top tip for a newcomer?

“Read the manual and watch the videos on AdobeTV! There are hidden depths to Bridge. It’s a great tool in and of itself, not just an extra to the other CS applications.”

Simon explains why you should learn to love Lightroom

“I started using Lightroom last year when I was at a photo shoot and wanted something larger than my camera display to preview images as I went along. The initial idea was to use Lightroom just to preview photos during the shoot and save the images straight to a hard drive rather than having to transfer from CF card later. As I used it, I also found the ‘develop’ options really useful for quickly enhancing the photos, much like I would in camera RAW, so I had a better idea of how they were turning out.”

Which features do you use most?

“The rating options come in really useful for filtering work, especially during a shoot – Flagging the shots I think are good enough to keep as I go along means I don’t have to trawl through the whole lot later.”

How has Lightroom made your job easier? 

“It has made the process of sorting through a large number of images much more efficient by allowing enhancement, rating and filtering to be performed all in one place.”

Do you have a favourite feature? 

“Remote shutter release – if your camera is at an impractical angle to operate, or to reduce shake on a long exposure, or to be lazy and sit at your computer the whole time, the shutter can be released from within Lightroom.”

What other programs do you use Lightroom with? 

“After I’ve filtered the shots in Lightroom, I like to export just the ones I need to Photoshop for more detailed editing”

What’s your top tip for a newcomer? 

“Select your ‘keepers’ as early in the process as you can. This avoids duplicating work on photos you won’t ever use. Using flags in Lightroom is a simpler version of the usual 5 star system (which is also still available) – press P to flag (or ‘pick’) an image or press X to reject it.”

Would you recommend it and why?

“I would recommend using Lightroom as the first step in processing a large number of images, whether by shooting directly into it or importing from elsewhere. It means you can work out which of your shots should progress to Photoshop, and might mean that some don’t even need to.”

Want to know more about Adobe Bridge and Lightroom? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Too many drives? Our top reasons to slimline your local storage

Too many drives? Our top reasons to slimline your local storage

We find ourselves doing a lot of storage archaeology at photography and design studios. People will often have great piles of 1TB drives, often dating back to when the agency was just one fella clicking away at Photoshop in his spare room. And while it’s great to have that kind of record of your company growing, there comes a time when you have to get centralised. Bigger drives may sound expensive, but trust us, an investment now will save you a bundle in the long run.

Why bother making the move?

There are a number of reasons why you’d want to make the move to larger local storage. Here are our big five:

RAID protection keeps your assets safe. And your 1TB external drive doesn’t have it. If it gets damaged or corrupted, any assets on it will be lost. If you opt for a larger drive, you can use RAID protection to mirror the content on one drive to another (RAID 1) or several other drives (RAID 2, 5, 10, etc), so that if one goes down you still have access to all the files on it and can continue to work on them, share them and charge for them without having to redo your work.

Thunderbolt storage saves you time. If you’re working on one of the newer iMacs or MacBook Pros, connecting via Thunderbolt to storage like the PROMISE Pegasus range will give you a two-way 10Gbps link to your storage – about 20 times faster than USB, twice as fast as USB 3.0 and 12 times faster than FireWire 800. This is going to make it a lot faster to get hold of large files, or move them around. And because you won’t be carrying out file transfers in the background for long stretches of time, you can look forward to a general performance boost, too.

– Shared storage makes collaboration easier. Got people working together  on projects, or needing to use the same media files? Hook them both up to the same local storage and they can both access all the files they need, rather than wasting time sending them back and forth or copying them to their local hard drives (which also aren’t RAID protected, just saying). Everybody working on the project can see where every file relating to it is, and version control is suddenly far easier as everyone is working on the same set of files. You can do this over AFP or using asset management software like Axle (you can get more info on that here).

It’s only more expensive now. Let’s say you go for our running favourite, the Pegasus R6. It’s currently £1379 ex VAT for the 12TB drive, which works out at about £114 ex VAT a terabyte – about the same as you’d pay for a Thunderbolt equipped 1TB external drive. And, because you’ll be forking out less often and have more warning before your available storage becomes full, you’ll find it easier to factor additional storage into your budget.

Look at how much space your current crazy tower of drives is taking up. Now look at the R6. Which would you rather have in the middle of your desk? Yeah, that’s what we thought.

For more information on changing your local storage setup, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email To keep up with all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Canon 5D MkIII gets clean 8-bit HDMI out in new firmware update

Canon 5D MkIII gets clean 8-bit HDMI out in new firmware update

Yep, that’s right: Canon are finally accepting the fact that the still and video camera markets are slowly merging, and will add clean HDMI output to the 5D MkIII in a firmware update. Due in April, the update will also bring improved AF functionality, and there’s even 25p support coming to the 1D-C.

Canon EOS 5D MKIII and Atomos Ninja


“When shooting video, HDMI Output makes possible the recording of high-definition uncompressed video data (YCbCr 4:2:2, 8 bit) from the EOS 5D MkIII to an external recorder via the camera’s HDMI terminal,” Canon’s press team inform us. “This, in turn, facilitates the editing of video data with minimal image degradation for greater onsite workflow efficiency during motion picture and video productions. Additionally, video being captured can be displayed on an external monitor, enabling real-time, on-site monitoring of high-definition video during shooting.”

All of which we think is pretty awesome. “It’s good to see the 5D return to the top of the pile,” says James Graham, our camera expert and resident 5D enthusiast. “The 5D handles high ISO shooting far better than the Nikon D800 and, although I haven’t got the chance to try out the Sony A99 yet, the 5D has the better sensor.”

AF to work up to f/8
Leading us further down the dark road that ends with cameras becoming sentient robots whose operators exist purely to give them the occasional light dusting, Canon are also enabling autofocus up to f/8. “Even when the EOS 5D MkIII is equipped with an extender and lens making possible a maximum aperture of f/8, the firmware update supports AF employing the camera’s central cross-type points (currently compatible with maximum apertures up to f/5.6). Accordingly, the update will allow users to take advantage of AF when shooting distant subjects, benefitting sports and nature photographers, particularly when using telephoto lenses.”

25p (and possibly 8K) for the EOS-1DC

Also due in an April firmware update is 25p support for the 4K-capable EOS 1D-C, meaning you’ll be able to use it to shoot content at the UK broadcast standard. Huzzah! There are also rumours that Canon plan to use the 1D-C’s super fast buffer to allow you to record short bursts of 8K footage. Admittedly, not many filmmakers will be interested in shooting six seconds of 8K, but if you’re using the 1D-C primarily as a stills camera, having the flexibility to capture those incredibly detailed video clips will be fantastic. Here’s hoping Canon confirm soon…

Want to know more about Canon 5D MkIII or 1D-C? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email To keep up with all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.